It’s targeted only at spiritual service professionals.
So unless you are a professional tarot reader, astrologer, life coach, divination mentor, or are engaged professionally in a similar form of spiritual business, this post will not be of much interest.
I’m posting it kind of as a PSA so that it is available to any spiritual entrepreneur who manages to find this page.
If you teach business tips and strategies to spiritual entrepreneurs, then I ask of you to incorporate the contents of this post into your educational materials. Screw credit or no credit or infringement wtf ever– just get your people informed, will you? Who the hell cares who came up with the idea first. Just get the information out there to fellow spiritual service professionals.
Let’s talk about card reversals. No, not how to read card reversals. I mean why some practitioners read with card reversals and some do not. There’s the succinct answer of “to each his or her own; since we’re all different, we all approach tarot differently,” but I mean beyond that, why?
Some practitioners would feel remiss to not consider the energy of card reversals in a reading. For others, an upside down card image drives them mad and thus interferes with their intuitive abilities. You end up with a camp of tarot readers who read with reversals and a camp who does not, leaving beginners who are entering the tarot forum for the first time wondering what the heck they should do. When “just do what feels right to you” sounds too vague of an answer, let’s try to get down to some specifics.
So like reading with reversals vs. reading without reversals, we’ve got two camps of mental dispositions: the left-brained and the right-brained.
I’ve been observing dozens of professional tarot readers conduct their readings. The observations prompted me to think about the practice of describing the tarot cards to the querent (or seeker).
For example, if a seeker asks whether she will find love in the coming year and you the tarot reader draw Key III: The Empress, which of the below better reflects your response?
[ A ] . “I drew The Empress, the card of fruition. Venus rules over this card. The Empress is a sign of love, fertility, and family. See the laurel wreath on her crown? That symbolizes your victory. The Empress is also of the Earth. Seems like not only will you find love, it could be one that finally grounds you and brings a sense of stability in your life. The number 3 here suggests to me that all good things will be amplified this year. 3 is the number of creativity. The stars on her crown symbolize hope, and there are 12 of them, which suggests creativity and artistic expression. The 12 stars also symbolize the 12 constellations of the zodiac. There might be something karmically fated about the love you will meet this year.”
[ B ] . “Yes, it seems you will be having quite a fruitful year in love. You may even meet someone you end up marrying. It’s going to be a plentiful year of romance for you, and, by the way, a year filled with creativity.”
Method A takes longer because you are identifying and describing the card first before interpreting it for the seeker. It also got me wondering: how many seekers really care about the cards? Are they requesting a reading to learn the names of the tarot cards? Does knowing that you pulled a Seven of Swords or Nine of Pentacles really mean anything to them? Or do they just want the answers to their questions?
If, however, you subscribe to the notion that the signs and symbols of the cards are the language of the unconscious and as a tarot reader, you are just an interpreter, then by providing the signs and symbols to the seeker, that person might be able to get more from the meaning than you were able to see. So why wouldn’t you provide the signs and symbols on the chance they might see something you didn’t? Any bilingual person understands this concept on an intimate level.
As for Method B, it is more direct. It answers the seeker’s question right away, which I have to assume is what most seekers want from you–a straight answer. I wonder if they really care about the elemental dignities of The Empress, the planetary influence, or what the empress depicted on the card is wearing.